The Consumption of Justice: Emotions, Publicity, and Legal Culture in Marseille, 1264-1423

The Consumption of Justice: Emotions, Publicity, and Legal Culture in Marseille, 1264-1423

by Daniel Lord Smail
     
 

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Drawing on the rich judicial records of Marseille from the years 1264 to 1423, especially records of civil litigation, this book approaches the courts of law from the perspective of the users of the courts.See more details below

Overview

Drawing on the rich judicial records of Marseille from the years 1264 to 1423, especially records of civil litigation, this book approaches the courts of law from the perspective of the users of the courts.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Smail meticulously examines people's reasons for going to court in late medieval Marseilles in this study of litigants, the 'consumers' implied by the book's title. This is legal history of a highly original kind, calling into question several conventional assumptions about the relationship between public authority and private interests. . . . This lively, learned, and well-written book brings the law and litigants to life, as do few others. . . . Highly recommended."—Choice (June 2004)

"Smail is acutely aware of the value of narratives and uses them with consummate skill. He has a remarkable capacity to piece together the membra disiecta of medieval court protocols into a coherent and captivating story with analytic meaning. The recreation of several such stories, cheek by jowl, brings to life the litigious and rowdy late medieval city in a manner closely resembling micro-historical studies. . . . It is important for anybody studying the social and cultural uses of courts, for all students of emotions, and for all those interested in reading a well-researched, well-written, and fascinating piece of historical writing."—Esther Cohen, H-France Review (May 2004)

"Based on a thorough and perceptive reading of the extensive legal records of fourteenth-century Marseille, the author has constructed a detailed and informative analysis of the operation of the courts and their social context."—Daniel M. Klerman, Law and History Review (Fall 2004)

"The Consumption of Justice breaks new ground. At once a meticulously researched institutional history and a close reading of voluminous court records, Daniel Lord Smail's book offers to rewrite the late medieval history of law, urban culture, and the symbiotic relationship between the two. In Smail's deft hands, law is rendered the potent tool of its consumers, and legal records become our window onto contemporaries' understanding of themselves and their community."—Martha C. Howell, Columbia University

"By studying court litigation in late medieval Marseille from the perspectives of litigants rather than legal professionals or rulers, The Consumption of Justice challenges received ideas about the history of medieval European law and law courts. Daniel Lord Smail proposes an original, provocative argument about why medieval people went to court and what they gained by doing so."—Stephen D. White, Candler Professor of Medieval History and Director of Medieval Studies, Emory University

"Solidly archival, carefully statistical but alert to social texture and the quirks of tales, The Consumption of Justice brings anthropology to legal history, smartly undercutting law's autonomy to exalt bargaining and a premodern culture of disputes and settlements."—Thomas V. Cohen, York University, Toronto

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801478888
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
05/31/2013
Series:
Conjunctions of Religion and Power in the Medieval Past Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
292
Sales rank:
1,381,713
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 6.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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